To the uninitiated man, a hoodwink is an object. It is that cloth device used to cover the eyes. Perhaps he recalls a scarf tied around his head for the children’s game of ‘blind man’s buff’.
A well-read man may recall stories of a person being deceived, or hoodwinked, into believing a falsehood.
The educated man, and an initiated Mason, will appreciate an older meaning of the word ‘hoodwink’. In the years before speculative Freemasonry as we understand it came to be, a hoodwink was understood as the act of concealing knowledge from a man; and it was aligned with the word ‘hele’.
In our ritual then, the hoodwink is an object applied to the Candidate to conceal from his view the knowledge that is revealed when he sees Masonic light.